Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CSTL) began in 2013, as an open access journal publishing articles twice a year theorizing about, and reflecting on, teaching and learning in higher education, with special attention paid to research in a South African context. Editors and editorial advisory board members are predominantly from South African universities, as are most contributors.
There are only three issues available thus far, but the well-written and –researched content, although focused on South African studies, offers substantial material that will also be useful to a wider, global audience. The current issue, Volume 2, Number 2 (2014), includes “An Intervention to Improve Academic Literacies in a First Year University Biology Course,” “Using Wikis to teach History Education to 21st Century Learners: A Hermeneutic perspective,” “Experiences of the Creative Doctorate: Minstrels and White Lines,” and “Academic Freedom and the Humanities: some current challenges.” All four of these essays will be of interest, and use, to academics and teachers in other settings. The two book reviews in the issue: “Risk in Academic Writing: Postgraduate Students, their Teachers and the Making of Knowledge” and “Academic freedom in a democratic South Africa: essays and interviews on higher education and the humanities,” address issues that will interest educators and students in other countries and settings, as well.
Articles in the previous issue, Volume 2, Number 1, address both South African-specific issues and themes with broader applicability: “Rethinking Transformation and Its Knowledge(s): The Case of South African Higher Education,” “Teaching and Learning Projects as 'Heterotopias',”Conducive Environments for the Promotion of Quality Teaching in Higher Education in South Africa,” “Knowledge and Knowers in Engineering Assessment ,” and ‘“Like Playing With Fire Under a Hut” - You Will Get Burnt If You Do Not Adjust: Reflections of Social Work Students on Adjusting to University Life.”
Although a large body of work is not yet available in this title, it promises to be a thought-provoking and challenging addition to the literature about teaching and learning. Librarians will do well to keep an eye on this journal and recommend it to higher education researchers.